By Ms. Shelley Peterson & Jueseppi B.
March 26, 2011 “More often than not, the President is in the office on most Saturdays to convene a national security or economic meeting. Here, on a Saturday in March, the President listens during a conference call on Libya in the Situation Room of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
April 6, 2011 “The President and Vice President convene a late night meeting to discuss the budget with House Speaker John Boehner, right, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, second from left in foreground, in the Oval Office private dining room. Pictured clockwise from the Vice President are: Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Speaker Boehner; Barry Jackson, Chief of Staff to Speaker Boehner; Sen. Reid; David Krone, Majority Leader Reid‘s Chief of Staff; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and Jack Lew, Office of Management and Budget Director.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Not every Barack Obama supporter is a Black person living in the inner city, with their pants on the ground and a 40 in their hand, with hip hop blasting away on the car stereo system.
Ms. Shelley Peterson had this idea to see just what type of American is out there voting for Barack Hussein Obama. Who is POTUS Obama’s demographic? She decided to find and interview those who don’t fit the main stream media’s erroneous idea of an “Obama Follower”.
No President can become President with just his own racial, economic or social demographics voting for him. A President must cross all lines of humanity, all lines that divide & separate us, to reach an entire nation of voting citizens to be elected.
Mr. Andrew Plewe
Ms. Peterson: Hello Andrew, thank you for your quick response. May I start by asking you to tell me How or what makes you stand out or different from what most would expect the mainstream/average Obama Voter? Put as much or as little into this answer as this will help us select the interview question best for you. Thanks again.
Mr. Plewe: Aside from being an active Mormon, I think one unique aspect about me as an Obama supporter is I never expected everything to be perfect after his first four years in office. I really liked, and like, his ability to “move the ball” in a very challenging environment. He strikes me as having the right balance of bipartisan tendencies and Democratic “fire”, so that he is anle to cross the aisle but not cross over. At various times him amd his team have changed the debate, thus neutralizing the ability of the Republicans to define terms and, by so doing, set the agenda. For instance, at one point even Republicans adopted the framing of the 99 percent and the 1 percent. Anyways, he knows how to play the game in a way that produces positive outcomes.
Ms. Peterson: Ok those are great points. Now let me ask did you support and vote for the President previously, if so why or why not. Have you always voted Democrat if no what caused your change , and what or why is it you believe this President is the right person to lead our country during these troubled times?
Mr. Plewe: I voted for Obama in 2008, although during the primaries I supported John Edwards. The short version of my “conversion” story to voting for Democrats (I’m technically an “undeclared” voter) is this: I grew up very conservative, one of my main political influences (and a man for whom I still have a lot of respect) sided mostly with the John Birch Society. I went away to college, then on a mission, and by the time I was finished with those two experiences I was pretty much on my way to thinking more liberally.
I entered college majoring in Aerospace Engineering, but switched about half-way through to International Relations and spent a lot of time studying the contemporary politics of former Portuguese colonies in sub-Saharan Africa (i.e. Angola and Mozambique). I had served my mission in Portugal and there I met a number of people from the former colonies. Anyways, to make a long story short I realized that a lot of what I thought was true about the Cold War really wasn’t — the Soviets weren’t evil and the “Great Game” really mucked with the internal political development of a number of countries and neither the Soviets or the Americans gained anything from the experience. Hence, by the time Bush was declaring war on Iraq I was already convinced that it would be a fools errand and strongly opposed the war.
I support Obama because of most of the reasons I’ve already mentioned — I feel like he will move the ball forward no matter what sort of political situation he’s handed. I think he’s a strong family man who practices real family values and that he’s sincerely interested in doing the right thing for America. And, I like how he has evolved over the course of his Presidency — he’s convinced me that he has a solid understanding of what will work in keeping us on track, both economically and otherwise. Good intentions, good ideas, and good execution. What’s not to like?
Ms. Peterson: Wonderful Andrew. Do you feel being an active Mormon and voting against a running Moron or for President Obama adds any extract weight or hardship in your daily life, mindset or faith?
Well a lot of people feel Mr. Obama was a feel good president and he promised to hold unemployment down at 8% , he also promised several other things like the single payer option. He gave bailouts to the banks and wall street…and they say he really has no real corporate or business experience that the our country needs to get the economy back in the black…Romney has Corporate knowledge and has made millions for other businesses and could do better for our country on the economy? What are your thoughts regarding the President’s lack of experience or on his failures that some feel he has let the country down?
Please feel free to speak on anything else you may feel strongly about pro or con that I may not have addressed. That would be my final question at this time. Andrew once I submit this information if the writers have any other questions I will get back to you. If not then we will make sure you read the final story before it is put out. I truly want to thank you for time.
Mr. Plewe: I don’t feel like being a Mormon and an Obama supporter impacts me negatively. I’ve never been one to care much about what other people think, especially about my politics, so to me it’s mostly business as usual. I don’t mix politics and religion in my worldview, so for me there’s nothing wrong with voting for Obama if it means voting against a fellow Mormon.
Those arguments against Obama fail, in my view, to take into account the political and economic realities of the last four years.
For instance, what if all the banks were allowed to fail? That means you would have lost any money you had in accounts with those institutions, and probably your job if it was any way dependent on borrowing. I’m not a fan of what the big banks and wall street do in our economy, but the idea behind “too big to fail” is just that — failure would have really been catastrophic for everyone, not just those institutions. The better approach is to fund the bailouts with promise of repayment (which happened) and then go in after the fact and fix things so that these situations can’t happen again. It’s not a perfect way to do it, but it’s way to do it that works in the world we actually live in.
I think Obama would really wanted a public option, but didn’t have the support of key “blue dog” Democrats and others who would be required to actually pass such a thing. The math dictated also that a few Republicans would have to be on board, which was never going to happen. So what we get is a framework for a public option in the future. I think that day will come, and probably sooner rather than later, as the rest of the positive aspects of healthcare reform kick in.
I’m not concerned at all about Obama’s supposed lack of experience. I was a bit during the primaries, but he beat John Edwards and Hillary Clinton — no small feat. After that, and seeing his political operation in action, I felt assured that he had most of what was necessary to do the job of being President (and, since then, has picked up anything else that might have been lacking). You can’t know everything in that position, it’s impossible to really grasp all the issues that are out there at any one time without a significant support staff to distill complex issues down to a list of “stuff the President can actually do”. In that light his advisers are important because they’re part of that process. He’s picked decent people (I don’t always agree with his decisions about those people, but by and large they’ve done a good job).
The thing I don’t like about Mitt Romney and the Republicans is, currently, their ideas are not rooted in reality. Most of what they want to do would only work in a perfect world, which doesn’t exist. Trickle-down economics, for instance, assumes that the folks with the money at the top are willing to invest and spend it in their local economy. In reality, most of the institutions and people who have the money to make a difference are sitting on it, which doesn’t help the economy. As long as they stay on the sidelines, they’re a constant reminder that cutting taxes for them won’t do anything to stimulate our economy. And, so, there needs to be a counter-balance to their financial influence — I support the President’s idea to fund a bunch of public works projects and invest in infrastructure as a way to do this.
I won’t go on forever, but the basic gist of it is if you examine all of the things Republicans want to do, they rely on these sorts of assumptions that have never panned out. And, instead of correcting course and coming up with a rational Conservative slate of ideas (I do think such a thing could exist, but current trends aren’t very promising) they move further to the right politically and further away from these core realities.
Ms. Peterson: Really great job Andrew. Thank you ever so much. I will be in touch. And I am always just a fb message away. Wonderful getting to know a little about you my friend.
Ms. Marguerite Dreissen
Meet Ms. Marguerite Dreissen. Being black, liberal and Mormon, Marguerite Dreissen represents a small but emerging point of view that is in stark contrast to the traditional profile of American Latter-day Saints, who tend to be conservative, Republican and white.
When Marguerite Driessen, a professor here, entered Brigham Young University in the early 1980s, she was the first black person many Mormon students had ever met, and she spent a good bit of her college time debunking stereotypes about African-Americans. Then she converted to Mormonism herself, and went on to spend a good deal of her adult life correcting assumptions about Mormons.
So the matchup in this year’s presidential election comes as a watershed moment for her, symbolizing the hard-won acceptance of racial and religious minorities.
“A Mormon candidate and a black candidate? Who would have thunk?” Ms. Driessen said. “I think 30 years ago, we would not have had this choice.”
After examining the dual — and sometimes conflicting — identities, she has decided that she will cast her vote for President Obama over Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. Ms. Driessen believes that there is plenty in the Book of Mormon to support Mr. Obama’s candidacy, and she likes to cite chapter and verse, like Mosiah 29:39 and 23:13.
“It says it is your job, people, to elect people who will protect your liberties,” said Ms. Driessen, a constitutional lawyer. “That is my standard.”
Being black, liberal and Mormon, Ms. Driessen represents a small but emerging point of view that is in stark contrast to the traditional profile of American Latter-day Saints, who tend to be conservative, Republican and white.
While many within the church community are rooting for Mr. Romney, the minority Mormon voices are becoming more assertive, perhaps because of the strength of their growing numbers. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has experienced explosive worldwide growth through its missionary work, particularly in countries with large black populations. In the United States, it is the second-fastest growing religion, according to a recently released decennial census of religions.
While the church does not track members by race, there are thriving Mormon churches with hundreds of black members today in many urban areas, including Washington, Chicago and New York, although African-Americans represent only a tiny fraction of the six million Mormons in the United States.
The conversion of blacks in this country has been a challenge, given the church’s turbulent history of excluding people of black African descent. Until 1978, black men were not allowed to become priests or bishops; dark skin was considered a biblical curse. During the 1960s, when Mitt Romney’s father, George, made civil rights a personal priority during his time as a Republican governor of Michigan, his progressive views put him at odds with church doctrine.
Over the last decades, however, there has been an aggressive campaign to diversify, and racism in the church — which was itself once powerless and persecuted as a cult — has been repeatedly denounced.
“I feel a definite sense of pride in the U.S.A. that we have a Mormon candidate and black candidate,” said Catherine Spruill, who lives in a suburb of Salt Lake and is mixed-race like Mr. Obama and Mormon like Mr. Romney. “I feel pride for my people, because America picked that.”
There is even a black Mormon Congressional candidate, Mia Love, who will soon be on the ballot in Utah. She is running as a conservative Republican for the newly created Fourth District, which includes part of Salt Lake County. A campaign video describes her in these terms, among others: “mother, mayor, leader, gun owner.”
With the larger tent has come a more diverse array of political ideologies and expressions in a church culture that has been known for its strict hierarchy and members’ adherence to authority and rules, for instance the prohibitions on caffeine and alcohol. Of more than a dozen black Mormons interviewed for this article across the country, eight were Democratic-leaning Obama supporters, two were undecided, and two others said they were committed to voting for Mr. Romney.
“With respect to Romney being a Mormon, bless his heart,” said Tracie J. Walker, 48, of Washington. “I think he’s a strange character. He got confused by money, I think. So he doesn’t understand reality today.”
None of the black Mormons who spoke to a reporter said he or she would vote strictly based on race or religion, only conscience. Even after the president’s endorsement of same-sex marriages earlier this month, invoking Christianity and the golden rule — “treat others the way you would want to be treated,” he said — Mormon supporters of Mr. Obama did not waver, saying they made a distinction between their own private religious beliefs and what they think is right for secular society.
“To my way of thinking the secular government has no business messing in these private affairs among individuals,” Ms. Driessen said. “What other people choose to do is not a problem for me, as long as it doesn’t harm me.”
Ms. Spruill, 31, who converted to Mormonism while serving in the Navy 13 years ago, said the decision did not matter to her, either, adding, “I applaud the president’s fortitude.”
Religion is always on her mind, however, and she particularly enjoys a certain political punch line that is making the rounds among some black Mormons here.
It goes like this: Mr. Obama calls Mr. Romney to say he thinks it is time the country had a Mormon president. But just as Mr. Romney is thanking the president for the apparent concession, Mr. Obama interrupts him to say, “My baptism is on Saturday.”
Undoubtedly, some black Mormons are still wrestling with the decision of whom to vote for.
“It’s tough because you’ve got the first black president, but he’s running against a candidate who has the values I believe in,” said Eddie Gist, 43, a black Mormon who lives in Salt Lake City. Mr. Gist said he may end up leaning more toward Mr. Romney, but added, “I really can’t go wrong either way.”
In 1971, the church founded the Genesis Group, a support organization for black Mormons in Salt Lake City. Today, it counts nearly 500 members, according to Don Harwell, the group’s president, who converted in 1983.
Mr. Harwell, who is black and originally from Los Angeles, said that church members kept politics out of Genesis activities and temple life, so he could not speak to their presidential preferences. As for himself, he is a registered Republican. Mr. Harwell and his wife, Jerri Harwell, a professor who supports Mr. Obama, are frequent political sparring partners.
“I’ve met Romney, I’ve talked to Romney, and I feel good about Romney,” he said over dinner one night this month with Ms. Harwell in Salt Lake. “My biggest thing is getting somebody in there with integrity and business sense, and that’s what he brings.”
Ms. Harwell disagreed: “He hasn’t even worked in years.”
Asked whether she felt compelled to bend to peer pressure in conservative Utah, where religion and culture are so thoroughly intertwined, Ms. Harwell said no.
“The religion is very much a part of me, but I was born black and I will die black.”
Beyond that, she feels that Mr. Obama is the better candidate. “My problem with Romney, politically, is that he cannot relate to the common man,” she said. “I’m afraid of what would happen to the economy given his frame of reference.”
Paul Sleet, a black computer systems engineer and photographer in St. Louis, joined the Mormon Church in 1989. He has five children, one of whom is serving as a missionary.
“Everything the church represents seems to be more clearly represented by Michelle and Barack Obama,” he said.
“I’m 100 percent Mormon and committed to my religion,” he said, “but I’ve never really thought about whether I’d have the same pride in a Mormon being elected president.
“I don’t know if I’d have the same tears in my eyes.”
I am sharing this opinion of Mitt Romney, written by a former member of the LDS Church, unedited and uncensored.
Mr. James Martin:
The first thing you need to know about Mitt Romney is that he is a Mormon, aka a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They call themselves Christians, but they have so thoroughly brainwashed their members that anything the church says…goes. No matter how much Mitt Romney says he would keep his church separate from Government, and how he would never let the church come in and run Government, commands of the church come first and foremost in Mormon minds.
If the church wanted Mitt to let them come in (AND THEY WOULD) and help or direct the Government, that is how it would be. Why? Because the church leaders would supposedly have a “vision” that it is God’s will. The church is all about trying to prop up the image of its founder, Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith had a supposed vision (prophecy) that one day a Mormon would become President of the United States, FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE, of letting the Mormon Church take over the U.S. Government. You can take it to the bank, that if Romney were President, the church leaders would have another “vision,” that a church takeover must happen. By the way, that prophecy was simple revenge for perceived wrongs done to Joseph Smith by the government. Nevertheless they treat all his prophecies seriously, no matter how ridiculous they are.
The only other church I know of that elicits such obedience was The People’s Temple, and we all know what happened there, they drank the Kool-Aid. In other words, the Mormon religion is a cult of brainwashed souls.
Mormons duck out the back door of the church as quickly as they come in the front door. The number of people on the church rolls rises all the time, but that’s because even if you join and then decide the church really isn’t for you, they still continue to count you as a member. Unfortunately this trend doesn’t apply to the “old school” Mormons like Romney. They’re totally entrenched into the religion/cult.
Some of the freaky Mormon beliefs are:
Mormons have a member “stand in” for a dead person and they’re baptized as a member of the church.
Mormons have a couple “stand in” for a dead man and woman and marry them into the church, and those count as a “twofer” in church membership rolls. Supposedly they’re “sealed for time and eternity” as husband and wife. Mormons are also supposedly the only ones who will be allowed to have sexual intercourse in Heaven.
Mormons believe that God was once a man here on earth and that he attained God-hood due to his “good works” here on earth. He was then elevated to live on the planet Kolob. This is why the Mormons stress “good works” as part of their membership. But here’s the rub! How could God create the earth according to the book of Genesis (which their other teachings do NOT dispute) unless he was ALREADY a God, and then attained God-hood through “good works?” If you truly are a Christian, does this all sound a bit weird to you? And no I’m not kidding you, these things are core beliefs of the Mormon Church. They all are from the false prophecies of Joseph Smith. You see, it’s easy, if you know all the facts, to tell why Mitt wants the White House so badly.
One of the tenants of the Mormon Church is to have as many babies as possible. So this goes hand in hand with Romney’s stand against abortion AND birth control. If you’re not popping out a new “Mormon Unit” every 12-18 months, you’re not having enough unprotected sex.
It also explains why they stress getting a good education, so they can make enough money to support all those kids with the mother being a “stay at home mom” like his wife Ann. Yet he wants to cut and privatize education. This is one of the Republican strategies to keep the voting public too dumb to see the truth.
Back when I was a youth in the church, we were taught that black people were descendants of Cain, and that the dark skin was the curse God put on him for killing Abel. Black people were to be shunned at all cost. We weren’t to be rude about it, but we weren’t to associate with them. This racist “teaching” is no longer part of Sunday School, because a few black people threatened to sue the church for racism and discrimination because they were not allowed to join. Suddenly the church elders had another supposed “vision” that blacks had paid their penance (still indicating they’d done something wrong) and they’re now allowed to join.
But they were not allowed to hold church offices, so the threat to sue was renewed and lo and behold another “vision” comes down the pike and blacks are now allowed full membership. I used to go to church with people like Donny & Marie Osmond and their family. I KNOW they were raised to be racist. In my opinion, to be raised racist and suddenly have your church tell you that you must do a full 180 and love and embrace black people is a total mind-fuck. (Excuse the one word, but nothing else seems to convey the gravity of the situation)
Christians don’t believe that God changes his mind to fit the times, yet this is what the Mormon Church is saying he does. A further example of this is that Joseph Smith said polygamy was an “everlasting covenant” from God, but the government said that if Mormons continued to practice polygamy, Utah would not become a state. If you look up the words everlasting, and covenant, you can see once again that God SUPPOSEDLY changed his mind just to fit the times.
Mormons wear “special” undergarments. For reasons too long to go into, suffice it to say that they believe this underwear protects them from evil and gives them mystical powers, as well as making their bodies more visible to the spirits when the rapture occurs. There are symbolic cuts in the underwear that are the same as symbols of being a member of the Masons. Also many of the secret ceremonies, hand signals and handshakes are derived from Masonic rituals:
- Romney wants to be President to fulfill a cult prophecy. When Mitt Romney received his patriarchal blessing as a Michigan teenager, he was told that the Lord expected great things from him. All young Mormon men — the “worthy males” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it is officially known — receive such a blessing as they embark on their requisite journeys as religious missionaries. But at 19 years of age, the youngest son of the most prominent Mormon in American politics — a seventh-generation direct descendant of one of the faith’s founding 12 apostles—Mitt Romney had been singled out as a destined leader. The Cougar Club — the all male, all white social club at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City (blacks were excluded from full membership in the Mormon church until 1978) — was humming with talk that its president, Mitt Romney, would become the first Mormon President of the United States. “If not Mitt, then who?” was the ubiquitous slogan within the elite organization. The pious world of BYU was expected to spawn the man who would lead the Mormons into the White House and fulfill the prophecies of the church’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr., which Romney has avidly sought to realize.
Economic goals according to Romney’s own book, “Believe in America” Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth 2011
- Wants to provoke China into war by labeling the Chinese government as criminals in the world court. Never mind that they own most of our money, they have nuclear capabilities and over a million soldiers. I’m sorry, but we wouldn’t stand a chance.
- Wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare. They say Obamacare would create death panels, but that’s nothing compared to what it would be if Wall Street controlled medical benefits. And with how well Wall Street has proven that they can screw up even a wet dream, do you really want them deciding how much your Social Security checks should be? I don’t think so. Romney would privatize his next meal if he could.
General plans (from stuff he has said lately)
- Wants to cut education funding and oversight.
- As a vulture capitalist, Mitt Romney cost thousands of employees their jobs and their retirement pensions, while he made out like a bandit. If elected president, Romney will kill Medicare and Social Security and further subjugate women’s rights, while destroying the EPA and other government services.
OBAMA is looking pretty good now, isn’t he? Read on, don’t just shut your mind and stop here.
Romney avoids mentioning it, but Joseph Smith ran for president in 1844 as an independent Commander in Chief of an “army of God” advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government in favor of a Mormon-ruled theocracy. Challenging Democrat, James Polk and Whig, Henry Clay – Smith prophesied that if the U.S. Congress did not accede to his demands that “they shall be broken up as a government and God shall damn them.” Smith viewed capturing the presidency as part of the mission of the church. Smith’s insertion of religion into politics and his call for a “theodemocracy where God and people hold the power to conduct the affairs of men in righteous matters” created a sensation and drew hostility from the outside world.
But his candidacy was cut short when he was shot to death by an anti-Mormon vigilante mob. Out of Smith’s national political ambitions grew what would become known in Mormon circles as the “White Horse Prophecy” — a belief ingrained in Mormon culture and passed down through generations by church leaders that the day would come when the U.S. Constitution would “hang like a thread as fine as a silk fiber” and the Mormon priesthood would save it. Mitt Romney views the American presidency as a theological office.
After the President and Congress finally agreed on a bill to keep the government from shutting down, the President decided to make an unannounced stop to thank tourists for visiting the Lincoln Memorial the following day. The Memorial and other monuments and national parks in Washington and across the country would have been forced to close had they not come to an agreement. Here, the President greets a surprised young girl as other tourists in the background snap pictures of their chance encounter with the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Ms. Linda Robinson
Linda Robinson: Hi Shelley, I saw your request for victims…uh, I mean people!! to interview for a story. What exactly is the story going to be about, and where is it going to be published? What little bit you said about it sounds interesting. Depending…you could probably interview me and my husband. We are both liberal Democrats stuck in the vast sea of Republican ignorance here in central Texas.
Shelley Peterson: Ok well it is about the voters least expected to be for Obama. Here is the basic question we ask you to start with…We will be pushing the story everywhere including MSM as part of an bigger project. Thank you Linda Robinson for your quick response. May I start by asking you to tell me how or what makes you stand out or different from what most would expect to be the mainstream/average Obama Voter? Put as much or as little into this answer as this will help us select the interview questions best fitting. Thanks again.
Linda Robinson: If that is your slant, then probably I would not be a good candidate. I am a senior, Caucasian female, Air Force veteran. Back in the 1970s, when I lived in Florida I was working for the Pasco County government, and filed a sex discrimination complaint against them. They were paying me less than a male co-worker for doing the same job. It took four years, but I won my case. During those four years, I helped found the local chapter of NOW…which is still going strong today. I used my GI Bill to go to college, and a couple of times during my career have had to make use of unemployment compensation.
My first husband and I divorced when our son was just a baby, so life was sometimes tough. There were times when I worked at a job which didn’t offer medical insurance, but my son was always covered by government medical care, because his father stayed in the Air Force. I am horrified at the rise of the so-called “tea party,” because of the damage they are doing to our politcal system. I never thought I would see the day when corporations are considered people and the havoc that has wrought on our democracy.
I have always been concerned about the environment. My son was born at the Air Force Academy, which is a game preserve. One of my husband’s friends went hunting on the Academy grounds, and killed a pregnant antelope and an elk. I was outraged by this, and reported him to the base commander. My first husband was totally angry and our friendship with that man and his wife ended. I stood my ground, because what the man did was wrong, illegal and harmed the wildlife population on the beautiful Academy grounds.
Soooo…I guess I would probably be considered too typical an Obama supporter for purposes of your article.
Shelley Peterson: Let me ask Did you support and vote for the President previously, if so why or why not. Have you always voted Democrat , and what or why is you believe this President is the right person to lead our country during these troubled times?
Linda Robinson: Yes, I voted for him in 2008. I have not always voted Democrat…I voted for Nixon both times, and Reagan the first time. Other than that, I have voted Democrat. I have NEVER voted for George W. Bush in ANY election. I thought he was a scumbag even when he was governor of Texas.
President Obama is the right person to lead our country for several reasons:
First, he has demonstrated that he’s capable of compromise, but cannot be pushed around. It is the Republican tea party thugs in Congress who have been the ones not interested in solving problems.
Second, he is not interested in taking away our voting rights, like the Republicans are. And, I think what he has been able to accomplish is remarkable, given the Congress with whom he has been saddled.
Third, he has compassion for people. This is totally lacking in Romney. And, I will tell you that even if I was inclined to vote for Romney (which I am not), the fact that Romney has money stashed in overseas and offshore accounts to avoid taxes seems unfitting for someone who is a president-wannabe. Also, he and his plastic wife insist, to this day, that it was okay and that the dog “loved it” when they stuck Seamus on top of their car for a 10-hour trip to Canada. This shows me a depth of uncaring that is way out of line. The Romneys’ treatment of Seamus is a deal breaker.
Fourth, President Obama has kept as many of his campaign promises as possible. He also tells the truth. Romney is an out-and-out liar. There is much about the man which shows me he has no integrity.
Fifth, the Republican tea party agenda is very scary, and for Romney to embrace the Ryan budget shows me that he is owned by corporate interests, and his main goal would be to protect those interests, instead of doing what is right for the rest of us. He “likes to fire people?” Well, we are not going to hire him for the job of president in the first place.
Shelley Peterson: Please feel free to speak on anything else you may feel strongly about pro or con that I may not have addressed. That would be my final question at this time Linda. I have a different project that I believe your story will much better qualify for actually. Linda once I submit this information if the writers have any other questions i will get back to you. If not then we will make sure you read the final story before it is put out. I truly want to thank you for time.
May 1, 2011 “Much has been made of this photograph that shows the President and Vice President and the national security team monitoring in real time the mission against Osama bin Laden. Some more background on the photograph: The White House Situation Room is actually comprised of several different conference rooms. The majority of the time, the President convenes meetings in the large conference room with assigned seats. But to monitor this mission, the group moved into the much smaller conference room. The President chose to sit next to Brigadier General Marshall B. “Brad” Webb, Assistant Commanding General of Joint Special Operations Command, who was point man for the communications taking place. WIth so few chairs, others just stood at the back of the room. I was jammed into a corner of the room with no room to move. During the mission itself, I made approximately 100 photographs, almost all from this cramped spot in the corner. There were several other meetings throughout the day, and we’ve put together a composite of several photographs (see next photo in this set) to give people a better sense of what the day was like. Seated in this picture from left to right: Vice President Biden, the President, Brig. Gen. Webb, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Standing, from left, are: Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Audrey Tomason Director for Counterterrorism; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Please note: a classified document seen in front of Sec. Clinton has been obscured.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This makes one wonder why the American media is intent on making us believe that white males or caucasian females are not going to vote for a Black President. As I stated, NO President can win an election is America with just one demographic voting for him/her.
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365 electoral votes, and McCain 173.
The popular vote was 69,456,897 to 59,934,814, respectively. Obama received the most votes for a presidential candidate in American history. That does not happen by staying within ones demographic voting neighborhood.
140 million Americans – a staggering 65% of the registered electorate – cast their votes to make Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States of America. Here we show how the results break down…
95% of black voters went to the ballot for Obama and only 4% for McCain.
Obama has succeeded in mobilising African-American voters who, although strongly Democratic, have in the past been apathetic in turning out to vote.
Yesterday’s surge in black voters, however, only boosted black turnout by two percentage points from 11% to 13%.
As in previous years, more black women turned out than men.
55% of white votes went to McCain including the notoriously hard-to-win white working class vote, but Obama stunned many by taking an impressive 43% of total white votes, cutting the Republican lead compared with 2004.
66% of Hispanic voters turned out for Obama – the best ever result for a Democrat.
McCain only took 31% of the Hispanic vote, despite courting them heavily in his campaign.
Obama used techniques such as Spanish-language adverts to win the Hispanic voters over, many of whom had grown disgruntled with the Bush administration.
56% of the female vote went to Obama, exceeding the usual Democrat advantage.
Many consider that Obama’s appeal to women has been key to his electoral victory, while McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, failed to help him secure the support of America’s women.
It should be noted that while Obama won the female vote overall, he lost the battle over white women by 7 points.
The male vote was essentially tied with 49% voting for Obama, thus evening the score on the male-heavy Republican advantage in 2004.
41% of white males voted for Obama, making him the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to take more than 38% in this category.
66% of under-30’s showed their support for Obama – far higher than in any previous election – compared to 31% for McCain.
A staggering 54% of young white voters also went for Obama.
Overall, this also helped Obama secure a high number of first time voters; 71% of whom voted Democrat.
McCain only managed to secure 29% of first-time voters, compared to 53% for John Kerry in 2004.
Obama’s youth – at 47 he is one of the youngest ever presidents – appealed to and energised many of those who were voting for the first time.
Nearly 25 per cent of U.S. adults – about 30 million – are Catholic and 54 per cent of them voted for pro-abortion Obama as opposed to 46 per cent for McCain.
Observers say the economy became the key issue for many Catholic Americans, which, along with issues such as the Iraq War and health care, eclipsed abortion.
78% of the Jewish vote went to Obama. Jewish support – which made up 2% of the overall electorate – has, in recent years, been overwhelmingly Democrat; with Al Gore receiving 79% in 2000 and John Kerry 74% in 2004
63% of Asian voters went to the ballot for Obama and 34% for McCain.
Were split 50-50. A key area in Bush’s victory four years ago, suburban voters make up half of the total American electorate. McCain also lost ground on rural voters, with the votes split 51-47 in his favour.
Obama won this category by a landslide, with 66% of single voters going to the ballot for him, compared to only 32% for McCain.
51% of married voters supported McCain and 47% voted for Obama. This was a drop from 2004 for McCain compared with Bush’s 15 point lead in 2004.
51% of over- 65’s voted for McCain – including veterans – and made up 16% of the entire electorate. They were therefore not dissimilar in influence to the under- 30’s on the overall result.
53% of voters who earned $200,000 or more in 2007 voted for Obama.
McCain – who was expected to triumph amongst the wealthy, succeeded in polling only 45% of these voters.
73% of white evangelicals backed McCain and 25% backed Obama.
This was a boost of 4 points for the Democrats from 2004, who traditionally struggle in rural areas, where many of this category live.
84% of Democrats who intially voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries voted for Obama.
May 23, 2011 “This was one of the great trips of the year, albeit brief, when we visited Ireland in May. This rope line in Moneygall was particularly fun as people reacted so jubilantly to the President and First Lady. It was somewhat unusual, though, in that the sun kept coming in and out, and at times it was even pouring rain.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Ms. Beverley Hughes
Ms. Beverley Hughes: You want to interview Obama supporters. I’m a 56 year old 100% disabled female Marine Veteran and I’m supporting Obama for the second time. I’m a former republican that voted for “W” twice. I’d be happy to answer your questions.
Shelley Peterson: Hello Beverley H., thank you for your response. May I start by asking you to tell me how or what makes you (and spouse if applies) stand out or different from what most would expect to be the mainstream/average Obama Voter? Put as much or as little into this answer as this will help us select the interview questions best fitting. Feel free to befriend me if you like, however it is not a requirement for the project at all. Thanks again Beverly.
Beverley Hughes: When I was a child, I admired President Kennedy – a Democrat. But I lived in Alabama and I despised George Wallace – also a Democrat. My parents were both Democrats . . . my father was a racist and my mother wasn’t. So I was kind of confused about politics.
In high school, I supported and worked for the Nixon campaign because he was going to get us out of Vietnam. And I admired him for that – even though he WAS a crook and was impeached.
After college I joined the Marines and was rather apolitical. Carter was President when I joined, then came Reagan. Reagan gave some pretty inspiring speeches and seemed to love the troops. I just didn’t pay much attention to politics until I was out of the Marines and the mother of two sons who wanted to go to public schools when they were in Junior High.
I remember walking into the local Jr High school with my children and turning around and walking right back out. It was disgusting!! From that experience, I became interested in the school system and I was trying to be a christian at that time so all my opinions and beliefs about politics came from the church and my religious views about politics. So I became a staunch Republican and I towed the party line. I was a rabid Republican/Conservative/right-wing nut case.
I listened to all the conservative talk shows from Rush Limbaugh to G. Gordon Liddy – Fox News was on at my house 24 hours a day – and I subscribed to all the appropriate magazines. I formed a group, Save Our Schools (S.O.S.), to save our kids from the horrors of critical thinking and other things that might make them question life and not just go with the flow!! We were told that Critical Thinking was to make them question God – and that cooperative working in school taught them to rely on others and not themselves. I fought the Clintons tooth and nail.
After I began to speak out at all the school board meetings, I started being a guest on a local conservative talk show, then a guest host, then got my own Sunday afternoon talk show. I was the female Rush Limbaugh of Alabama. I could have been Sarah Palin. If Sarah Palin had run with “W”, she would have been my hero. It was disgusting.
So . . . what happened to change my mind? As a former Marine, I had a lot of Marine friends still on active duty – and after 9/11 so many questions started coming up . . . questions that didn’t get answered. Why did we wait to so long to go to Iraq. Why were we going to Iraq to start with?? Why did we go to Iraq the first time? Where were the weapons of mass destruction? And after we went to Iraq – why was everything destroyed except the ministry of oil?
How was this keeping America safe? Because of the information I received from my friends over there and in the middle of things, I began to listen to CNN, read things not written by biased Republicans, etc. Then I started learning about Halliburton and the money being wasted. It was just all a huge money – making machine in my eyes – and it was all about oil. And money. Bush landed on that aircraft carrier with the flight suite on and declared “Mission Accomplished”.
Beverly Hughes: And then the kids started getting killed and President Bush wouldn’t allow cameras to show their flag draped coffins when they returned home, I was outraged. THEN came the whole Jessica Lynch story which has been shown to be patently UNTRUE. We needed a hero, we needed a PR move to excite the American citizens about the war. So this whole thing was made up. Read her book!! It was all lies!! It was just one thing after another and the war dragged on and on and on and on.
During this time, I had become totally disgusted with religion and the hate and bigotry and unfairness of the “christian faith” – and my leaving the church was one of the things that destroyed my marriage. So I moved to Colorado which was a much more liberal state.
The first Bush administration was over – but I still supported him in the election because I hoped he would do something. Clean up his mess. But he left us there. Halliburton kept getting richer, the control of the oil fields in Iraq continued, then we moved into Afghanistan and it became apparent that this was just one huge fuck fest and was totally out of control.
Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire and it was covered up. And Bush cut the funding for the VA just as these kids were coming back with traumatic injuries!!
Then came the Wall Street Crash where my mother and myself lost a lot of money. It devastated my mother – and she died soon after. (Mother had remained a die-hard liberal and had voted for Clinton twice and was planning to vote for Obama!!)
The Economy tanked – but Wall Street lost nothing.
I had heard President Obama speak at the DNC and had liked what he had to say. Then I saw him on Oprah. I started reading about him and reading things that he had written. Which made me want to read more and more. I probably read 100 books between the Bush re-election and the 2008 election. THEN, John McCain – whom I was leaning towards supporting because he seemed to be a responsible, pro-military, pro-troop politician and I hoped he would get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and reign in the waste and insanity – John McCain picked Sara Palin to be his running mate.
And for a few weeks, I was all on board. Until the Katie Couric Interview. That woke me up. I couldn’t believe anyone would pick a candidate for VP and not vet them any better than that. I was totally disgusted. And once again I started reading and was appalled at his choice. AND I spent four months in Alaska the summer before the election and THAT was eye opening . . . the talk about Palin . . .
So I turned my attention back to Obama. And while the campaign was going on I started questioning my core values, what I truly believed in, what I wanted for this country, for my children. And I realized that I was – shock of all shocks – a Democrat at heart. So I became one in reality.
Now when I hear Republicans talk – about wanting to take back women’s rights to birth control, abortion – shutting down facilities that give free cancer screenings and other helpful services to women. When I hear Paul Ryan talk about his budget. When I see Republicans wanting to cut programs for the poor and give tax cuts to the rich. When I see what Congress did to the post office. The privatization of the prison systems. Just the INSANITY coming out of the republican party, I am ashamed that I was ever naive enough to believe their crap. And it was and it is CRAP.
The tax rate on the richest in America during REAGAN’S administration was 57%!!! Now it’s what? 14 to 30% So why is it ok if Reagan taxes the rich at such high rates – but not President Obama???
I could go on and on but the bottom line is – in my opinion – the Republican party of 2012 has lost it’s ever loving mind and have become anti-American, anti-christian, immoral beings solely obsessed with getting richer and making their cronies richer. The Supreme Court Decision to let corporations give unlimited contributions to political campaigns with no transparency, the Political Pacs pouring money into negative ads, the efforts to stop people from being able to vote – something that hasn’t been done since the 1960’s. Wall Street criminals still not being punished. Corporate America is BUYING America. It’s all just so unfair and so disgusting that it makes me ashamed. And I don’t know how we will ever fix it.
America’s flag needs to have dollar signs where the stars are because all we seem to care about is MONEY and making the rich RICHER. And the fact that they are supporting an out of touch, arrogant billionaire is DISGUSTING.
And they treated President Obama – a man that truly cares about the middle class, the troops, women’s rights, etc., – treating him like he’s not an American – as if he doesn’t deserve the respect given to the President of the United states because he is BLACK. They would not have stood for this lack of respect being given to George W. Bush.
Just look at what happened to the Dixie Chicks when they dared to say something negative about him. Yet Sarah Palin and all the Fox cronies, even members of Congress, EVERYONE can say whatever they want about THIS president and it’s OKAY.
THE HYPOCRICY IS STAGGERING. I AM ASHAMED. I am truly Ashamed of the Republicans in our government. I am disgusted by them and have lost all respect for them.
Shelley Peterson: Wow great Beverly Hughes, thank you so very much. You will be hearing from us again. Great learning a little about you.
Mr. Bob Shepherd
Shelly Peterson: Hi Bob, I am looking to interview a couple of people for a story, regarding the diversity of Voters for Pres. Obama. It has been in the works for a while and now we are at the interview stage. I saw your comments in Redneck group and would like to know if you’d be interested and yes your real name must be used so you need to know that up front too. We want it known that these are real live voting people’s stories . The stories used would be extended to social sites, blogs and all the main stream media of course, please respond to me when convenient. Also if there is a spouse or other that would be great as well. Looking forward to meeting you Bob and thank you for your time.
Shelley Peterson:I would also like to extend friendship to you if you are ok with that. It is not a requirement for the interview and that is my offer no matter what your decision is about the interview.
Bob Shepard: well, i am widowed. lost my wife five years ago, nearly six.
Shelley Peterson: Oh well sorry to hear that. We just wanted you to know we would include them if had a spouse .Would you mind participating in a short interview ….I ask you the questions right here and you take whatever time you need to answer me back and then I will send you the next one Bob…how does that sound to you?
Bob Shepard: i think that would work. I definitely have my opinions. ha ha.
Shelley Peterson: May I start by asking you to tell me How or what makes you stand out or different from what most would expect the mainstream/average Obama Voter to be? Put as much or as little into your answer as this will help us select the next best interview question for you. Thanks again Bob.
Bob Shepard: My background is somewhat conservative on some issues. My wife and I had a big family and came from a religious heritage, but she was favorable to Civil Rights, and at first I did not understand that. I voted for Reagan twice (and once here in California for governor), and also voted for each of the Bush presidents. But what I liked about Bush was his moderation. He talked about compassion, and mercy, and being a uniter not a divider. I liked that. He wanted to close the gap of hope, and lift those who slipped through the cracks. But then he won, and after a while it seemed like those goals were pushed farther in farther into the background.
Shelley Peterson: Ok that’s great points. Now let me ask did you support and vote for the President previously, if so why or why not. Since you have not always voted Democrat if what caused your major change, and what or why is it you believe this President is the right person to lead our country during these troubled times?
Bob Shepard: I voted for Obama in 2008. I had voted for Bush previously. I respect Bush for admitting he blew it on some aspects (ie, excess deregulation). It takes a man to admit where he was wrong. But the more I studied Obama, I just liked him on several scores. If you leave out the name calling, the birther nonsense, the “socialist” and “communist” and “Muslim” labels and epithets and vituperation, what do his enemies have to complain about, except the obvious — that if Obama is praised for his genius, he has to share some of the glory with Bush, because there is a huge overlap. So yes, Obama is our only choice, in my view. He is trying to be a uniter not a divider. He has an ability to choose ideas from BOTH sides, and use what works. I applaud that. Bush was destroyed by the hard right of his own party, more than by the Democratic left. I also happen to think that Obama’s mild liberalism, as I call it, is exactly what our country needs. I hope that the more left liberals can understand that some of the “Republican” approach that Obama is using is truly important. Balance is often wise, and Obama clearly seems to grasp that.
Shelley Peterson: You’re doing wonderful Bob! Well a lot of people feel Mr. Obama was a feel good president and he promised to hold unemployment down at 8% , he also promised several other things like the single payer option. He gave bailouts to the banks and wall street…and they say he really has no real corporate or business experience that the our country needs to get the economy back in the black…Romney has Corporate knowledge and has made millions for other businesses and could do better for our country on the economy? What are your thoughts regarding the President’s lack of experience or on his failures that some feel he has let the country down?
Please feel free to speak on anything else you may feel strongly about pro or con that I may not have addressed. That would be my final question at this time. Bob once I submit this information if the writers have any other questions I will get back to you. If not then we will make sure you read the final story before it is put out. I truly want to thank you for time.
Bob Shepard: Those are complaints I have against a lot of our presidents. George W. Bush “promised” (or at least hoped for) a more compassionate presidency, closing the gap of hope, lifting those that had been marginalized. Alas, it didn’t really turn out as well as he hoped, but at least he was man enough to admit he blew it (excess deregulation). He also has lamented the attack on his “Bush tax cuts” for the wealthy. So with Obama we see the same thing, a capacity for growth. If we don’t EVOLVE, we might as well stay in first grade and continue to live at home into our old age.
Thank God that doesn’t happen. We all grown. Obama pretty much vindicated several of Bush’s policies, the stimulus and bail outs, saving capitalism, seeing the Iraq stabilization through (at least till the Sunnis and Shiites gained somewhat more working trust of one another). I have a theory, incidentally, on corporate experience. I’m sure it’s a good thing, in its own way. But firms and individuals follow the principles of micro-economics, which often contradict the principles of the economy at large, or macro-economics.
Hamilton was a strong believer in capitalism, or a “lending” sector, and saw a measure of income inequality as a positive thing. In early America farmers had to borrow from English lenders. So Hamilton promoted a national debt and banking and favoritism for the capitalist, industrialist sector. None of that is bad for an infant economy. It still works today, but the supply side (Adam Smith, etc) has to be balanced out by always growing the middle class, who do the preponderant buying and purchasing. If the middle class languishes, economic disaster looms. Capitalism is not our final goal, but only a tool — to promote general prosperity.
It cannot succeed without the middle class. That’s is what they called (in Economics) the demand side. In other words, grow a healthy middle class (so-called Main Street) so the whole economy flourishes. When rich have too much of the total wealth, the slightest panic and they sit on their assets, bury their talent. Flow ceases, and you have a melt-down. I sure don’t knock the importance of the TOO BIG TO FAIL.
But after you shore them up, turn your attention to simple (demand side) basics, like jobs for veterans, jobs for the middle class, the safety net for senior citizens, and a vibrant system of education (for tomorrow.) That should not even be partisan. It’s tested wisdom, by and large. Common sense. Henry Ford said as much. And virtually every single president of the Greatest Generation, regardless of whether Democrat or Republican.”lifting those that had been marginalized.”
Shelley Peterson: thank you so very much Bob for your insight into why you’re voting for Obama. You will be hearing from us again. Great learning a little about you. it was a pleasure.
A Mormon for Obama . . . and Why
As this year’s political race between Obama and Romney gains traction in the media, on social networks, in churches, and elsewhere, there are Mormons who, while having nothing against Romney personally or religiously, have decided to vote for Obama. The following is from a Mormon who supports Obama and the reasons why.
I live in the Marshall Islands, I have a husband (Andrew) and a toddler (Maxwell), and I am a writer, a graphic designer, and an editor/typesetter. My husband just joined the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer and this is our first post.
I am voting for Obama. I voted for him in 2008, and I believe that he was the best candidate at that time. In my opinion, he is again the best candidate for president this year. Here are my key reasons:
In my opinion, Obama has been the greatest foreign policy president we have had since Ronald Reagan. He has largely shifted America’s foreign policy focus to Asia where it rightly belongs, reduced resources in Iraq, plotted an escape route out of Afghanistan, managed the Arab Spring revolutions better than I ever though possible, strengthened international resolve towards Iran, reduced tensions along the Mexican border, corralled India in a tighter alliance, and done all of this with fewer resources. Oh, and he killed Osama in an incredibly daring but brilliant operation. How could anyone even compete with that?
Much of the success belongs to Obama’s excellent Cabinet choices. Secretary Clinton has been a fantastic Secretary of State, the best we’ve had since Colin Powell. Gates was so impressive as Defense secretary (I have mixed feelings about Panetta) and even Mullen as Joint Chiefs has demonstrated an excellent ability to think outside the box and also confront his own bureaucracy. But Obama is the one who assembled the team from rivals (Clinton) and the other political party (Gates). And he is the one who has ultimately made the right decisions at the right times.
Even his supposed failures in foreign policy reflect good thinking in my mind. Liberals are upset over his inability to close Guantanamo, but that issue is way more complicated than most people realize. And Obama is willing to recognize reality, even in the face of his unrealistic campaign promises. Others have criticized him for his response to Libya, but again, I think he struck the exact right balance of intervention without U.S. commitment. And it was a good chance for Europe to step up to the plate and work out its defense arrangements a little bit more.
Foreign policy is largely controlled within the executive branch of government, so I hold the President more accountable on this count than most others. And I think because Obama has a freer hand in this policy realm, we have seen more of his true colors in this respect. Plus, his rhetorical gifts are so needed and so effective in the international arena. Words matter there, and Obama has the ability to really influence things by what he says. Speeches in Russia and in Egypt prior to the uprisings had a dramatic regional impact.
Those who want Ron Paul’s version of foreign policy are living in historical fiction, though I empathize with their aspirations. It was Woodrow Wilson, nearly 100 years ago, who presided over the transition of America from an isolated, waterlocked, largely agrarian society to the global economic and military power it is today. That transition, while not irreversible, has been so comprehensive as to make the costs of returning to isolationism far higher than any benefits. We are a global power, our military is a crucial international asset used to secure shipping lanes, reduce transaction costs, and save lives abroad, and our role in international fora cannot be replicated.
I actually think Romney wouldn’t be too bad in the foreign policy realm. He certainly wouldn’t be as bad as Bush or Carter were. But I worry about his Cabinet choices, about too much focus on domestic issues, about his inability to connect with Americans let alone foreign countries. And Obama has a clear track record in this realm. Absent some compelling flaw in the President’s foreign policy or some remarkable asset in Romney, I am certainly not willing to change presidents after only four years.
This is the second most important issue for me, but I suspect it will be the number-one issue for most Americans. The economy is whimpering along, barely making much of a recovery with major structural problems at every level. My perspective is surely influenced by the fact that I have a job and that I am doing OK financially. If I didn’t have a job, or if my future prospects didn’t look bright, I would probably be looking for a change somewhere. In the Book of Mormon, Lehi murmured against the Lord only when he couldn’t feed his family, so I fully respect those who want a change of leadership given the lack of recent improvements. But a couple of thoughts:
Investment is the key to growth and we are not making the right types of investments. If you think about your own life, you made significant investments in education, maybe a home, other capital. You likely took out loans to pay for these things (I sure did) with the understanding that your investment will yield returns later on. The problem with the U.S. right now is we had to take out loans just to survive for the past few years. It’s like we were living on credit card debt. Now the gut reaction once things start improving is to pay off the credit card debt right away.
We all hate debt and hate watching how much interest eats up our paychecks. But the counterintuitive right course (in my opinion) is to take out more loans for the right type of investments first and then start paying off the credit card debt. Domestic infrastructure, education, state and local government, and energy development all desperately need significant investments right now. Waiting until our nation’s credit card bill is paid will be too late and only result in a lower rate of growth in the future.
Accordingly, The Republican’s prescription is the wrong one. What they are proposing is the equivalent of a doctor ordering chemotherapy for broken legs. Everyone is focused on debt right now, thinking paying down our debt will somehow cause the economy to come back. Again, think about it from an individual’s perspective. Does paying off debt make you any richer? Insofar as you get to keep the money you were using to pay interest, yes.
But that is really a very small amount in the grand scheme of things. Things that actually make us richer—such as getting more education, getting a promotion, finding a new job, coming up with a new invention—come from investments, from risks, from innovation. Somehow, we are not focusing on that at all; instead, we are bickering about how we have mortgaged our children’s future. That cliché is driving me nuts. Of course we mortgage their future! That’s how we hope to finance a better world that they can then easily pay off with their spaceship explorations to planets made of gold and unobtainium.
In all seriousness though, the Republicans and Mitt Romney would have a valid argument if U.S. interest rates were going up and if inflation were a concern. But that’s the thing: inflation rates are at historic lows, and the world is more than happy to lend us as much money as we want. (See my first point on foreign policy; in a way, this is the reward for all our global expenditures.) Which leads me to the final point on economics:
The current public debate is not looking at the big picture. The U.S. economy is so closely tied into the world’s economy now that it is silly to try to separate them or focus on domestic reasons for our malaise. China’s economy depends on U.S. debt as much as we depend on it. Europe’s problems make our issues look childish in comparison. Brazil, China, and India are practically begging the U.S. to spend their money in our country on our goods and with our workforce. We are missing all these issues in our angry, navel-gazing rhetoric about who destroyed which job. And I think those global issues will ultimately have much more bearing on the domestic economy than nearly anything the executive branch will do.
There may be one exception to this point, however. In periods of panic and serious economic volatility, the President does have real power: rhetorical power and the ability to act quickly to stabilize the market through emergency liquidity measures, etc. Romney and Republicans have all but eschewed such tools, however, saying it is not the government’s role to take such action. And that denial of governmental responsibility in the face of economic crises is frightening. The last presidents to believe this were Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge, who together helped precipitate (but not cause) the Great Depression.
Just to summarize the economic issue:
· Investments, not deleveraging national debt, is the key to growth.
· Republicans have made paying off debt their Holy Grail, creating a myopic and misdirected economic policy.
· International economic policy matters far more than Republicans acknowledge.
· At the end of the day, the President has very little influence on economic issues, except in crises. And it is such power that the Republican party has said should not be wielded by the government.
Looking at Romney individually, I think he is actually very intelligent when it comes to economic issues. I suspect he understands all these points, and I even suspect he may agree with me. But his party has demonstrated no willingness to compromise or acknowledge any complexity on the issue, and I fear Romney would face a revolt from his own party if he suggested increasing spending on anything. So even if Romney really knows how to handle our economic challenges (although his current rhetoric suggests otherwise) his party would never allow it.
Domestic Policy and Entitlement Reform
As the words Obamacare and socialism ring through the air, I think this is the arena where the public debate has gotten out of hand. To be fair, the rhetoric on foreign policy issues was ridiculous when George Bush was president. Whereas Obama is depicted as a Keynian socialist who hates America and wants to decide when senior citizens are killed, Bush was depicted as a bumbling, warmongering puppet controlled by Dick Cheney who wanted to torture foreigners. Neither caricature is particularly helpful, except to put “rage in the hearts” (2 Nephi 28:20) of people. I suspect most Americans were not in either of these two rhetorical camps, but their rational thoughts are getting drowned out.
Obamacare—By far, the strangest thing about this entire debate is that Obamacare will not be truly implemented until 2014! We haven’t even seen what Obamacare will do, but listening to people you would think it single-handedly brought down the economy even before it was passed. The individual mandate hasn’t been implemented, insurance competition provisions remain unenforced, and the whole thing is in limbo before the Supreme Court (and I think a constitutional examination is warranted in this case). My point is, how could you possibly judge a law on its merits when it hasn’t even been implemented? One of the only truly substantive components of the law that has been implemented is the mandate that insurance companies cover dependents until they are 26 (reflecting the fact that children are in school and deferring marriage until later). And I think that has been a great success—I have family members who would not have insurance were it not for this provision.
Medicare—This is the real elephant in the room, and the part where I agree with the Republicans the most. Medicare costs are the fundamental driver of increasing health care costs, and Obamacare’s great flaw is its failure to reign in Medicare costs. The economic reality is that it is inevitable that Medicare benefits will be cut and there will be some type of provisioning of those benefits, aka death panels. Because promising essentially unlimited medical expenditures for the most expensive patients while refusing to raise additional revenue from the healthy patients is unsustainable. Given this reality, however, I think reform is actually more likely with a Democrat as president. He would have the best ability to convince his own party of the need for reform. Remember, Bill Clinton was president when welfare reform was passed. Right now the Democrats are quite intransigent on this issue, but I think economic realities and appropriate pressure from Republicans in Congress could help them come around, provided a Democrat is president. If a Republican is president, there would be too much opposition from Democrats and too much partisan gloating from Republicans to really push anything rational through.
Social Security—See my previous point. Social security as currently constituted is unsustainable, benefits will need to be cut, and I believe Obama is able and willing to compromise on this point.
Women’s and Family Issues—I have no idea what is going on with the Republican party or why they think targeting contraceptives or abortion is going to win the election. But I believe their rhetoric is harmful and counterproductive. Roe v. Wade is a reality, so let’s start talking about how we can reduce the number of abortions through education, contraceptive use, and strengthening families. This war on women and the family is phony, pathetic, and a political red herring.
Of course, I am not happy with everything that Obama has done. I generally like solid conservatives on the Supreme Court who have a more traditionalist interpretation of the Constitution. Obama will most certainly not do that. Obama’s leadership style is frequently too detached to really enact substantive change. Despite his rhetoric, Obama does not have the gift of a Reagan or Clinton to reach across the aisle and really work with the opposition party. And I am concerned with growing consolidation of authority at the federal level at the expense of state and local government.
In these policy matters, I feel Obama is on the wrong side of the issue. But democracy is all about choosing the least bad alternative. I am concerned that Romney is not the master of his own fate. Too many political forces within his own party have compelled him to change into something and someone that he is not. I really liked the Romney who was governor of Massachusetts: a compromiser, able to deal with the political realities at hand, and eminently pragmatic. If that Romney resurfaces, I would be incredibly happy.
My concern though is that the Republican party has been captured by a mix of libertarian, Conservative with a capital C (ie., pre-1932), and isolationist groups that have a skewed historical perspective. I am extremely uncomfortable with the rhetoric of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and other pundits from this camp, and Romney has been far too willing to pander to these groups. True leadership would occur if he stood up against those in his own party. But he hasn’t done that.
Of course it is neat that Romney is Mormon, but I actually feel that has very little bearing in this year’s election. It will make for some very interesting attack ads and quite a spotlight on the church, but I haven’t really seen how it will influence his policy choices. Has Romney ever suggested his Mormon faith has influenced his political positions? So that puts me squarely in a very small minority of Mormons for Obama.
This year’s election is not the “once in a lifetime” election I have been hearing about. Yes, there are important issues and yes, it is valuable to be civically engaged. But I have too much faith in the American system to believe that one presidential term could ever fundamentally alter the American way of life, either for good or bad. Presidents are leaders more than they are actors. What I mean by that is they set the rhetorical tone that compels others to action. But no matter who is president, there will be good people in the U.S. doing much good of their own free will.
The Constitution is an incredible document with such flexibility that I believe we can definitely tackle the pressing issues our country faces. I have tremendous appreciation for our country’s commitment to the rule of law and respect for minority opinion. I honestly believe that the U.S. has one of the greatest political systems in the world, if not the greatest ever created. It may look really messy at times, but believe me, we could do much, much worse. Nowhere else in the world is there such a large and diverse population able to live in freedom and peace. As the ridiculous rhetoric heats up on both sides, it is good to keep that in mind.
Mr. Craig Moore
Shelley Peterson: Hello Craig M., thank you for your response of interest. May I start by asking you to tell me how or what makes you (and spouse if applies) stand out or different from what most would expect to be the mainstream/average Obama Voter? Put as much or as little into this answer as this will help us select the interview questions best fitting. Feel free to befriend me if you like, however it is not a requirement for the project at all. Thanks again Craig.
Craig Moore: So, what do you do….send the questions to people and they send back the completed interview, or do you interview me over the computer and about how long does it take. I’m always interested in adding my input, but as you can see, I do like to know the details first and often ask too many questions.
Shelley Peterson: You submit the answer to that 1st question that will generate the next question if required. We don’t usually have a need to call during the interview process. After story is released , if anyone in media should want to get in touch or verify any of the people we have interviewed then we would contact you and allow you to decide and take it from there…you are free to add your own input, there is a statement that would suggest anyway during the short process. It is not a long interview process.
Craig Moore: Ok…I’ll do it.
Shelley Peterson: Hello Craig M., thank you for your response of interest. May I start by asking you to tell me how or what makes you (and spouse if applies) stand out or different from what most would expect to be the mainstream/average Obama Voter? Put as much or as little into this answer as this will help us select the interview questions best fitting. Feel free to befriend me if you like, however it is not a requirement for the project at all. Thanks again Craig.
Craig Moore: Shelly, actually, I think I AM the mainstream/average Obama voter.
My age (59), having known other administrations to compare Obama’s to, being largely affected by the economic policies of the Bush administration, not being a “religious” person and having two 24 year old daughters whose rights I don’t want them to lose and whose future I am concerned about, makes me, I believe, makes me one of the most common types of US citizen that supports Obama.
Shelley Peterson: Have you always voted Democrat, if not what party did you most previously vote with? Did you start out knowing in 08 that you would vote for Obama if not, then what was your 1st choice and why did you change your vote?
Craig Moore: I do not remember ever voting for anybody other than a Democrat except in one “local” election when I voted for a Republican just to do a friend a favor. I knew nothing about the Democrat candidate at the time.
In 08, I had a hard time deciding whether to support Hillary or Obama. But, I was leaning towards Hillary until she accepted a large donation from Rupert Murdoch and also “misspoke” about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia. After that….I began leaning towards Obama and ended up fully supporting him. I even donated to his campaign.
Shelley Peterson: Well Craig a lot of people feel Mr. Obama was a feel good president and he promised to hold unemployment down at 8% , he also promised several other things like the single payer option. He gave bailouts to the banks and wall street…and they say he really has no real corporate or business experience that the our country needs to get the economy back in the black…Romney has Corporate knowledge and has made millions for other businesses and could do better for our country on the economy? What are your thoughts regarding the President’s lack of experience or on his failures that some feel he has let the country down?
Please feel free to speak on anything else you may feel strongly about pro or con that I may not have addressed. That would be my final question at this time.
Craig once I submit this information if the writers have any other questions I will get back to you. If not, then we will make sure you read the final story if it’s selected for this project before it goes out. I truly want to thank you for time.
Craig Moore: Shelley….. First of all, it was not Obama that signed the bank bailouts (Troubled Asset Relief Program “TARP”) into law, it was Bush. And he did that about one month before Obama was elected. MANY people have the misunderstanding that Obama is the one that bailed out the banks….he didn’t. However, he did bail out the automobile industry and they are now making big profits and were not forced into laying off thousands of employees thanks to Obama’s decision.
Every presidential candidate makes “promises” and no presidential candidate is able to keep every promise he has made. In addition, no president has faced the concentrated opposition from the other party like Obama has had to do. The Senate Republicans have called for a record number of filibusters in US history. It then takes 60 votes to pass a law instead of the usual 51 (aka: a simple majority). Republicans in both the House and Senate have done everything they can to cause the Obama administration to be a failure…..that has been their goal since “day one”: To make sure Obama was a one term president.
As for Obama having no “corporate or business experience”, neither did JFK or Eisenhower and every business venture that George Bush was involved in was a failure. He even borrowed money from the Saudi Kingdom to try to save his oil business. It didn’t work.
Romney’s corporate experience was in how to destroy a business, layoff employees, cause the business to file for bankruptcy and then for him and his company to still make millions off of the deal. This country doesn’t need that kind of “experience”.
Yes, many people felt Obama let the country down. They expected him to “fix” all of our problems in 2 yrs after Bush had 8 yrs to screw everything up. So, they got pissed and didn’t bother to go out and vote during the mid-term election which is why the Repubs took over the House.
Obama’s “failures” have not actually all been failures…..many have had to be compromises, unfortunately.
The current situation the US finds itself in is due to Bush’s 8 yrs of destruction and tax cuts (you could actually go back as far as Reagan, where it all REALLY began).
Shelley Peterson: Good answers, please continue with anything else you’d like to say for the interview, you are doing just fine Craig.
Craig Moore: Although this is a presidential election year and we need Obama to be reelected, what too many people don’t realize is that it is just as important, if not more so, that the Democrats get back the majority in the House and that we increase our majority we have in the Senate to (or as close to as possible) a “filibuster proof” majority so the Republicans can’t put a stop to all the legislation that goes through Congress.
And I guess last, but not least, if people want this economy to improve, putting a “corporate president” in the White House is not the solution. Romney is anti-union and anti-middle class. Obama is not. A country can not be economically successful w/out a solid middle class. History shows that as union membership declines, so does the size of the middle class. I don’t think anybody really wants this country to be one that has only a wealthy class and the poor. That would benefit nobody.
Other reasons not to vote for Romney are his “moral policies”.
Wow. I haven’t typed that much at one time in a long, long time!
By the way, I’m “from” Texas and am supposed to be a Southern Baptist which might make someone think I have the same opinions as the “Religious Right”……..nope!
Shelley Peterson: Thank you so much Craig for taking the time to answer these questions. I appreciate your input and your honesty. I’ll be in touch.
Jueseppi B: That says it all I believe. America is not as dumb or blinded by racism and cash as I thought. I am sure there are many who will vote against Barack Hussein Obama based on his skin color. I am however reaffirmed in my belief that some Americans think with the critical thinking logical region of the brain.
Shelley Peterson: If you’ve ever in your life wanted to be apart of America’s Great history for standing up and speaking out for the Greatness this Country is made of from it’s deepest core values, This is your time to shine. Lay down your party, your bias, your hang ups and your hurt feelings, get over yourself and just VOTE YOUR BEST INTEREST AMERICA. In Your Own Quite Corner – where no one else has to know…VOTE FOR THE BEST THIS COUNTRY HAS TO OFFER AS OUR LEADER! AMERICAN WILL CONTINUE FORWARD, AMERICA WILL PROSPER & SHINE ACROSS THE WORLD…WHEN WE SIMPLY OFFER UP OUR BEST! THIS IS YOUR GREAT MOMENT IN HISTORY TO GET IT RIGHT.
“BARACK” The Vote
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